Simone Popov

Simone is a jack-of-all-trades in the industry. Initially starting as a 22-year-old sales rep for Regal Wine Company, Simone went on to have positions in wine hospitality, retail sales, business development, administration, and marketing for various wine businesses in Napa and Sonoma. Now Simone splits his time between working for Thatcher's Imports, teaching, and writing his blog, The [Wine] Dispatch. Throughout his time in wine, Simone continuously pursued education, attaining an MBA in Wine Business Strategies from Sonoma State University, a Diploma with WSET, a CSW certification, and Spanish and French Wine Scholar accreditation. Simone's goal is to incite the joy of wine and to tell stories that connect people to the global wine culture. 

Get To Know Simone

What is your favorite wine region to visit?

Visiting the Loire Valley, and particularly Savennieres, was an incredible experience.


What is your favorite class to teach?

Intro to Wine. It is fun to see people realize for the first time that wine is more than just a fermented juice beverage. 


What's your most memorable wine experience?

I accidentally came upon Domaine Roche Aux Moines without knowing anything about the producer and then got a tour from Nicolas Joly, the famed pioneer of biodynamics in the Loire. 


Why did you decide to become an instructor?

I want to share my passion for wine with students and let them feel confident about discussing it without fear. 


What's your most memorable food and wine pairing?

During my first job in wine hospitality, the whole cellar and hospitality team went out to the vineyards to visit the house of the Domaine's longest-serving employee, the grandma of one of our cellar crew. She has lived on the property, cleaned the estate since the seventies, and raised livestock. She made us carnitas that she had been cooking since the morning. We brought wine, and I was amazed by the pairing of the Carnitas Tacos with a Monterrey Grenache Blanc.   I am unsure whether it was just the atmosphere, but the pairing was incredible. 


What's the biggest challenge in your job?

Sometimes I want to tell my students every little nuance of the topic and get a little too technical. It's tough to filter sometimes, especially if I am particularly excited about the region or the style. 


What other passions beside wine do you have?

I enjoy playing and watching sports. I play tennis and love watching football (soccer) and Formula 1 racing.


Name some recent wine discoveries that you find exciting.

I used to say I had a "northern palate" and preferred drinking only the wines from colder climates/ northern appellations (in the Northern Hemisphere). However, after tasting some incredible wines from Greece, Tenerife, Roussillon, and other areas with a Mediterranean climate, I am much more open to experiencing those wines. 


What do you think is the most unappreciated wine or region in the world?

Probably Greece. It is incredible how stunning and affordable the Assyrtikos and Xinomavros of Greece are. And Crete has this incredible variety called Lliatiko, which I am obsessed with. 

Simon's Favorite Blogs